Companies make poor marketing decisions every day. The results of these decisions often spark controversy on social media, resulting in an apology from the company, which results in some low-level advertising intern getting the axe (totally speculating on that by the way). Two companies have recently gotten the beatdown on Twitter from their customers and for good reason. Boy, oh, boy where do I even begin?
It all started at Macy’s when a customer, Ali Ward, was visiting the Herald Square store in NY and spotted two plates on a display. She took a picture and then posted it on Twitter with the caption “How can I get these plates from Macy’s banned in all 50 states?” That left Macy’s with a plate full of angry people to deal with! Why you ask? Just look at the pictures and you’ll immediately feel anger!
I’m all for portion control but this is just poor taste! Reading the description on their site just infuriated me even more. Can you imagine someone with an eating disorder seeing this? Or someone with poor self-esteem who believes this is the right way to eat? It’s just WRONG on all levels. Of course, these have been pulled and Macy’s issued the ‘we made a bad choice’ apology, but the creator of the plates, whose name I refuse to put here, says that they plates have a “positive, light hearted message” and the controversy surrounding them “has been overwhelmingly positive, including more interest in [sic] & sales today than ever before.” Say what?!?!
The second company facing backlash for a similar topic is Forever 21. In some recent customer orders, unsolicited samples of an Atkins diet bar were included in their shipment. While that may not seem all that bad, many of the free sample appeared to be included with many plus-sized orders, which customers felt was offensive and hurtful. These customers took to social media to share their feelings and disappointment with the extra items they received.
In their statement, Forever 21 said “The freebie items in question were included in all online orders, across all sizes and categories, for a limited time and have since been removed. This was an oversight on our part and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused to our customers, as this was not our intention in any way.”
I know body image is an issue right now surrounding so many. When you look and see so many perfect people all over Instagram and Twitter it’s hard not to feel a little bad about yourself, right? Why do we hold ourselves to this standard though? Do we all need to be perfect? Isn’t it diversity that defines us as individuals?
So, I pose this question to you. Are we, as a society, becoming too sensitive to situations like this? Should we just laugh this off as a light-hearted joke or is this something other companies should take note of so they don’t do the same? I’m curious as to what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments.